Dudhari Talvar
Double Edged

Meghna Gulzar

Vishal Bhardwaj

Film Review
Talvar:Plays to the Hilt!


Plays to the Hilt! yes

While the sensational Arushi – Hemraj double murder case was dominating the media; most people like me believed that the parents must have been behind that ‘honour killing'. The way things were presented one could only zero in on the Talwars.

Then just a few days before the judgement one FB status went viral, which had a lot of info in Talwars' defence that made us look into the other direction seriously.

Nonetheless, this case remained the biggest mystery of the decade with its legendary ambivalence. Both the planks of Insaaf Ka Tarazu creating a tug of war.

Meghna Gulzar's TALVAR Written by Vishal Bharadwaj tries mostly to explore the left point of view, the victim Talwars' side fictionalized as Dr. Tandons. It indeed succeeds in getting home with an irony of the Indian Law that says, ‘Culprit may go free, but no innocent should be punished.' The film convinces you that Talwars did have more than a valid defence but still became the victim of the system.enlightened

The film neither claims to be based/inspired by any real incidence nor does it have a disclaimer against it. But it's obvious. The names are also similar like Rajesh is Ramesh and Nupur is Nutan and their surname Tandon as mentioned above.

The best part of the Writing is its balance. Given the grimace of the crime, one could go into very dark areas but the film takes the colour of the characters on the screen. The pain of tragedy, Satire and a dash of occasional humour keep the watching interesting. Though the treatment is realistic which appears as a documentary with an occasional shake/zoom/pan of the camera, but that enhances the watching and you feel more connected with the story.

When Irrfan is on the screen, you are looking forward to some finding, revelation but when Tandons are there, they make you feel the tragedy. yes

Something remarkable to watch is the conference scene between two factions of the CDI (Fiction for CBI) – one that believes Tandons are innocent and the other that believes otherwise. The scene supposed to be a heated debate progresses like a fun chat among the bureaucrats. This scene has a root in an earlier scene where the CDI chief gives a lesson to his subordinates not to attach themselves emotionally to a case, like ‘doctors'. That's cold caustic. A pithy at how people deal with their subjects. TALVAR keeps piercing such needles intermittently making you feel the pain of the system, but at the same time is not hurting you. yesenlightened

The subplot between Irrfan's Ashwini Kumar and his wife (as Tabu), which appears disjointed with main plot subtly merges with it when Ashwini is cornered at work and decides to save something that's his own, the marriage. It not only gives an insight into his character, it also leads to the conclusion of the two tracks, the first being Ashwini's association with the Tandon's case. He turns out to be the second victim of the system.  enlightened

I remember, reading the track of the servants in the original case and how the main accused went to Nepal and disappeared during the trials. This film suddenly reminds us of that. But doesn't follow it up further.

Also, something that doesn't come out clearly is the character of Ashwini's assistant, who shifts his shape. It leaves you with a question, whether he deliberately botched up the Ahmedabad forensic inquiry?

All said and done; TALVAR is a film that's left on the right. A film that questions the system subtly and silently. When in the end both Tandons quietly go to jails, it hurts you more to see that they had no weeping milap, no exchange of words.

While the writing is one edge of this TALVAR performance is the other. What we have is a Dudhari TALVAR worth watching hands down. Or Hands up.  yes   




   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

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